An Essential Guide to Formative Assessment

(Grades K-5) / Flex Course

PDI Course Number: 128T02 / UCSD Course Number: EDUC42302

Course Description

Does the word “assessment” cause your hands to sweat, your breathing to become shallow, and your brain to freeze? Whether you are new to the teaching profession or a seasoned veteran, navigating how to effectively assess your students is difficult at best. Formative assessment is the process by which educators can modify their instruction so that the learning needs of each student can be consistently and successfully met. In doing so, teachers collect evidence of students’ progress toward set academic goals and use that evidence to make instructional moves or decisions to guide them closer to their goals. This online course provides K-5 teachers with a variety of strategies to successfully assess their students using formative assessment best practices. The course begins with an overview of formative assessment. Teachers will learn how to clarify students’ learning by setting learning goals and establishing success criteria, so that equitable assessment practices can be established and maintained. Teachers will take a deep dive into best formative assessment practices so that evidence of student learning can be elicited, and the ensuing data collected and interpreted so that informed instructional decisions can occur. Teachers will learn how to act on that evidence by giving effective feedback and differentiating their instruction and assessment practices. Teachers will also explore the important roles that social-emotional learning, learning styles, and metacognition play in the formative assessment process. By the end of this course, teachers will feel more confident and successful in their quest to explore and incorporate best formative assessment practices within their own classrooms. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units (50 hours of training) from University of California San Diego (UCSD) Division of Extended Studies. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

"The content and resources were very appropriate and helpful. I learned a lot of great tips and strategies from the coursework." - Carri DaRin

Enrollment Options

Course Only

$120 with the discount

Course with Credit from UCSD

$304 with the discount

This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units or 5 quarter units of graduate-level credit from UCSD.

You have up to one year from the date you are enrolled to complete a flex course.

Click here to view the course syllabus.

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UCSD Course Number: EDUC42302
Unit One
  • Introduction and Overview of Formative Assessment
  • Types of Assessment
  • Formative vs. Summative Assessment
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1
Unit Two
  • Setting Learning Goals
  • Establishing Success Criteria
  • Equitable Assessment Practices
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2
Unit Three
  • Collecting Evidence of Student Learning
  • Using Questioning to Elicit Evidence of Student Learning
  • Student Learning Styles and Metacognition
  • Assignment #3: Share your expertise
  • Test #3
Unit Four
  • Individual and Small Group Formative Assessment Strategies
  • Whole Group Formative Assessment Strategies
  • Formative Assessment in an Online Environment
  • Test #4
Unit Five
  • Giving Effective Feedback
  • Keeping Track of Data
  • Differentiating Instruction Based on Formative Assessment
  • Differentiating Assessment Strategies
  • Test #5
Unit Six
  • Getting Students Talking about Learning
  • Incorporating Social-Emotional Learning
  • Self-Assessment/Reflection and Peer Assessment
  • Assignment #4: Develop three seperate formative assessments for specific standards
  • Assignment #5: Course Reflection

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